Leigh Witchel

Royal Ballet 2007-8 Season

20 posts in this topic

Sorry - it's not up yet, but I am totally champing at the bit.

When does it usually get announced?

I'm getting a London yen.

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A story in the New York Times said the Royal is supposed to do Jewels in 07-08. There's a little taste for you. Of course, it's the Royal in Balanchine. We know how you feel about that.

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Goodness Leigh! I saw the title of this thread and thought WHAT? Did I miss the announcement?


Now that I've calmed down a bit....

I believe it's usually announced sometime in April... I think Period 1 booking usually opens in June... and there would need to be time before that for Friends booking, etc....

As for Jewels... well, for whatever you think of the RB in Balanchine, there are some folks I'd love to see dance this... I hope I'll be in the country for it!

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Actually, I just did a quick search, and last year it was announced on 28 March! Any day now Leigh, keep calm!

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The press conference is scheduled for the first week in April, I believe.

From somewhere (someone talking about the opera company's plans, perhaps?) we've already heard that we get Bayadere and R&J near the start of the season.

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It's on the website now!! Am excited beyond words!!


La Bayadere

Romeo and Juliet



Les Patineurs / Tales of Beatrix Potter


Chroma / Different Drummer / Rite of Spring

New Wheeldon / Afternoon of a Faun / A Month in the Country

Sleeping Beauty

Draft Works (in the Clore)

Serenade / New Brandstrup / Homage to the Queen

New Works (in the Linbury)

The Dream / Dances at a Gathering

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No Two Pigeons. I was hoping that rumor was true.

From a traveler's perspective: Jewels is over Thanksgiving weekend.

Here's an immodest proposal:


POB School performance on April 20

Nureyev/Balanchine/Forsythe on April 21


Schlepping Beauty on April 22

Serenade/new Brandstrup/Homage to the Queen April 23

Who's up for "Ballet Talk: London-Paris?"

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How funny, Leigh - when I looked at the new RB season, I had the same travel thoughts for the April period! (though I didn't know the POB school would also be performing at the time).

The POB mixed bill looks too good to pass up - classical to neoclassical to neo-neoclassical. I wish, somehow, the RB Jewels and the POB bill were timed closer together, but the RB Serenade/ Brandstrup/ Homage to the Queen is interesting as well.

There's plenty worth looking at in the Royal season; so many performances of Sleeping Beauty and R&J! The casting looks fun in Jewels, though I must admit I thought Rojo would have been a natural in Rubies, but she's in Emeralds instead. I'm glad Nunez is in Diamonds - thought she would have gotten Emeralds. I'm also curious how they'll pull off Dances at a Gathering.

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The casting looks fun in Jewels, though I must admit I thought Rojo would have been a natural in Rubies, but she's in Emeralds instead. I'm glad Nunez is in Diamonds - thought she would have gotten Emeralds. I'm also curious how they'll pull off Dances at a Gathering.

The casting for Jewels looks downright strange to me, rather as if whoever selected the dancers doesn’t have any real knowledge of the ballet. Instead of naming the casts this early I would have thought the RB management could have waited and let whoever is mounting the ballet be allowed to choose the dancers. Agree about Roja and Nunez.

I have mixed feelings about the revival of Dances at a Gathering; it’s one of my favourite ballets of all time and the original RB cast was so amazing that it might prove too hard an act to follow. It might be possible to scrape a good first cast together, but I doubt if there is a second cast out there. If I remember rightly that cast was:

Laura Connor

Ann Jenner

Monica Mason

Lynn Seymour

Antoinette Sibley

Michael Coleman

Anthony Dowell

Jonathan Kelly

Rudolf Nureyev

David Wall

My suggestions for the revival would be:

Leanne Benjamin (Jenner)

Lauren Cuthbertson (Seymour)

Sarah Lamb (Sibley)

Marianela Nunez (Connor)

Tamara Roja (Mason)

Carlos Acosta (Nureyev)

Johan Kobborg (Dowell)

Steven McRae (Coleman)

Rupert Penneyfather (Kelly)

Ivan Putrov (Wall)

A couple of others would be good too, but I can’t think of another ten dancers of the right personality and level of technique (in certain of the roles) to name a full second cast. If anyone has other suggestions to make, please go ahead.

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I was puzzled about Rojo as well. I had her down for Rubies ages ago.... That said, she can have a very round, womanly, romantic adagio quality about her.

I'm going to have to think about this casting quite a bit!

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I saw the original Royal Ballet cast, too, many times and it is one of my most wonderful ballet memories--so wonderful that it has eclipsed the many many NYCB performances I have seen over the years. The colors and roles in both versions differed quite a bit, so I wonder if the Royal Ballet will do its version, or the version that NYCB does. Mary

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If I were casting Dancing at a Gathering I'd be looking above all for dancers who can look as if they are just being their natural selves on stage. I could suggest a couple of casts for the women from the RB but the men would be much more difficult. I have to say the only one of my choices which would coincide with Mashinka's would be Acosta in what we think of as the Nureyev role!

But it's going to be hard for any cast, as cargill says, to compete with the memory of the RB originals - one of the greatest things the company has ever done, in my experience. Also, I don't think we can assume that people who haven't seen it before will automatically adore it on first sight - I know people who saw it for the first time when NYCB brought it to Edinburgh a few years ago and who just loathed it, and couldn't begin to understand why so many people remember it so fondly. I think it's a piece that looks much better on dancers you know.

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I never thought of it this way, Jane, but that's so true. Dances is so much about the personalities onstage and their interaction that it could be enigmatic (the Girl in Green is only the most obvious example) if you weren't familiar with those dancers.

The problem is, I only know those roles by color. Can someone translate for the RB?

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Leigh, as cargill says I think they used different colours, and also allocated the dances slightly differently, in London and NY. If it helps, and maybe someone can translate it into NY colours, this was the original assignation in London:

Sibley- Mauve

Seymour - green

Mason - apricot

Connor - blue

Jenner - pink

Nureyev - brown

Dowell - gold

Wall - green

Coleman - salmon

Kelly - mauve

Though by the end of the season the programme says Nureyev was in blue. Anyway, he was the man who comes on right at the beginning; but when he wasn't dancing, so far as I remember Dowell did that role but still wore his gold costume. Lynn Seymour definitely did the Verdy solo.

Jonathan Kelly, incidentally, was a late replacement for Donald Macleary, who did the role later on.

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Oh yes, they are a bit different! In NYC, one of the women is in yellow; she's the one who gets tossed in the air - I'm guessing that's apricot in London because the other colors seem as in NYC. One man is in brick - usually a young virtuoso - that's probably salmon.

Back to scheduling; I've got my eye on Jewels in November (I can see my brother for an expatriate Thanksgiving and then go to the ballet), the April dates that can be combined with Paris and if the airfare gods are smiling, May for the new works and The Dream/Dances.

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Some dances have been reassigned at NYCB. Shortly after Stephanie Saland took on the Green woman ("chatterbox"), Robbins gave her what had been the Mauve woman's first entrance, which I believe is the second dance, a pdd following the (traditionally) Brown man's opening solo. That one seems to have stuck, at least at NYCB, but there have also been temporary reshufflings.

It sounds like Robbins never quite settled the mix-and-match casting that drove his original cast so crazy before the premiere. I think someone should set the matter straight once and for all, so BT-ers can discuss the Green man, for example, and know which dances he does. :mad::wink:

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robbins toyed a with the roles and their disposition from the very first season, below is the relationship of royal to nycb as i can now recall/suggest:

sibley = mcbride/pink

seymour = verdy/green

mason = kent/apricot

conner = leland/blue

jenner = mazzo/mauve

nureyev = villella/brown

dowell = blum/mustard

wall = prinz/olive

coleman = clifford/blue-green

kelly = maiorano/plum

i've attached a picture postcard, undated, but sent to me from london at the time of the Royal Ballet's run of the ballet by jennifer dunning - it's the first cast given above by jane surrounding robbins.

p.s. if anyone has access to back copies of anita finkel's NEW DANCE REVIEW in the July/Aug 1989 issue anita commissioned a conversation w/ susan reiter, charles france and me and w/ a tape recorder running we all conversed about the many manifestations of DANCES over the preceeding 20 years. Charles was there at the world premiere, i saw the ballet late in the first season, and susan saw it soon thereafter - all of us followed it closely over the years. there is much data in the article, much of it culled by susan who has a great gift for retaining and gathering detail.


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It's not surprising that the roles and colors were interchanged: in Dance as a Contact Sport, Joseph Mazo describes how in the making of the ballet, Robbins taught the same dances to different ballerinas.

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The colors don't quite match up--for instance green (Seymour in the British version) danced more than green in NY (she did some of what the mauve US woman does), Dowell (gold) danced with Sibley (mauve in the British version, roughly equivalent to pink in the US) in the long pas de deux, which is danced by purple in NY. The boy in brick (salmon) danced more in the British version, there wasn't really a "run-on" girl in the British version, since she danced more. And when Nureyev left, Dowell took some of his parts, so even the British version wasn't consistent. I think the British version had more distinct personalities (that is, the dancers had more consistency throughout the ballet) than the current NY version, though I certainly didn't see the original NY cast. The current NY version does have a few gleams, but nothing like the magic I remember--and the audience is so disruptive, because once the final sublime piece starts at least half of them dive for the exit, so the final walk is totally ruined. Mary

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